Things are heating up for the live-action/CGI hybrid adaptation of the popular childrens book series Paddington. As production gears up to begin later this month, The Weinstein Company has come onboard to handle North American rights for the David Heyman-produced film. Paddington will be the first release under TWC’s new banner TWC-Dimension, which will serve as a distribution arm that will see Harvey Weinstein and Bob Weinstein “team on films for which they share a common passion.” Additionally, director Paul King has filled out his cast for the film with Colin Firth, Nicole Kidman, Sally Hawkins, Julie Walters, and Jim Broadbent. Hit the jump for more.
Paddington is being fully financed by Studiocanal and centers on a young bear that was raised as an anglophile by his Aunt Lucy in Peru. He is left lost and alone at London’s Paddington Station when Lucy decides it’s time to go to England in search of a better life. While staying with a kind family who takes him in, Paddington sets out in search of an explorer who inspired his aunt years before, avoiding a sinister taxidermist and unintentionally bringing comic mayhem.
Per Studiocanal, Colin Firth will be voicing the CGI bear and his The Railway Man co-star Nicole Kidman will be playing the evil taxidermist, who is the film’s antagonist. We previously reported that Hugh Laurie was being courted for the Paddington role, but it appears that a deal never materialized. Additionally, the previously rumored Hugh Bonneville has closed his deal to join the cast as Mr. Brown, which is now rounded out by Sally Hawkins as Mrs. Brown, Julie Walters as the housekeeper Mrs. Bird, and Jim Broadbent as the antiques shop owner Mr. Gruber.
Filming will take place in the UK, and Studiocanal has already set a holiday-friendly November 28, 2014 release date for the UK and other territories including France, Germany, Australia, and New Zealand. TWC-Dimension will release the film in North America during the first quarter of 2015, which would appear to miss a fine opportunity to showcase Paddington as a holiday event film during December.